It's time to lace up your running shoes and register for northern Minnesota's oldest and largest Halloween-themed race!
Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College will host the 12th annual Pumpkin Run and Walk at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 21. The race distance is five kilometers (3.1 miles), and the route will begin and end on campus at 2101 14th St., Cloquet. The event is open to runners and walkers of all ages and abilities. The entry fee leading up to and on race day is $20 for everyone, with special pre-registration rates for students and individuals if submitted prior to Oct. 16. (Current students get the lowest rate of just $12 if they register before Oct. 16.)
"The Pumpkin Run and Walk is a fun event that encourages physical activity using a festive theme and comfortable environment," said Tom Urbanski, director of public information at FDLTCC, and who also serves as race director. "We have runners and walkers of all ages and abilities who participate, with many college students and area residents, as well as people who travel a long way to get here. It's a perfect theme for a running race and the Pumpkin Run has grown into a great community event."
To celebrate the theme of the race, participants are encouraged, but certainly not required, to wear Halloween costumes or wear orange clothing. Prizes will be given for the best costumes.
The race attracts top-level talent as well as families, recreational runners, and walkers. The course record of 15:13 is held by five-time winner Eric Hartmark, one of Minnesota's best distance runners and a past qualifier for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the Marathon event. Although roughly 25 percent of participants are walkers, the race course has a reputation for producing fast times and is certified by the USATF.
The Pumpkin Run's 5K course is a mix of the campus ring road, County Road 3 (14th Street), and the residential streets of Valley View Drive and Harner Lane. Essentially flat, the course features a fast downhill stretch with a return trip up the same hill. Mile markers will be posted and traffic control safety will be conducted by Law Enforcement and Nursing program students at the college, with assistance from the Cloquet Police Department, and neighbors who live along the race route. In 2015, a record 428 runners and walkers registered for the race.
A Pumpkin Run tradition is awarding medals to the fastest FDLTCC students in the race. In 2016, Ryan Bradley of Duluth won the men's division in 20:00, and Amarah Parks of Cloquet won the women's division in 27:30.
Every registered finisher will receive a long-sleeve T-shirt and post-race refreshments. Medals will be awarded to the top three overall male and female finishers. Age group awards will be given to the top male and female in each of the following age groups: under 15, 15 19, 20-29, 30 39, 40 49, 50 59, 60-69, and 70+.
The event offers indoor facilities and warm gathering areas before and after the race, healthy refreshments, free parking in campus lots, and door prize drawings.
For more information or to get an entry form, visit www.fdltcc.edu/campus-life/pumpkin-run-walk/ or call 218-879-0800.